10. Paul Konerko - 999 points
Years with Sox: 1999-Current
Sox stats: .284/.361/.506, 389 HRs, 1,232 RBI, 1,976 hits, 2005 ALCS MVP
Konerko was a highly touted minor league prospect for the Dodgers in the mid 1990s and was moved at the 1998 trade deadline to Cincinnati for reliever Jeff Shaw. Following that half of a season with the Reds, they flipped him to the White Sox in exchange for Mike Cameron. Konerko, who only had 247 plate appearances in his career, was given a full time opportunity in 1999. He responded by hitting .294/.352/.511 with 24 homers. Konerko has hit at least 20 homers every year but one since. Konerko really found his power stroke in 2004, when he blasted 41 homers and knocked in 117 runs. It was 2005 though where Konerko really cemented himself in White Sox lore. He hit .283/.375/.534 as he led the offense to an AL Central championship. Konerko would go on to hit 2 homers in the ALDS against Boston. He had 2 homers and 7 RBIs in the ALCS against the Angels, grabbing the series MVP honors along the way. In the World Series, he hit this go ahead grand slam in game 2. Due to a bad gamble, I wasn't at the game (I gave up game 2 to my brother in order to go to game 6... D'OH!) but that video pretty much caught the reaction of every White Sox fan. Konerko has hit .300 or more 4 times for the Sox. He's hit at least 30 homers in 7 seasons, he's knocked in 100 RBIs 6 times and at age 35 he's shown no signs of slowing down. He currently ranks 5th hits, 2nd in HRs and RBIs and 7th in OPS and is still moving up the ladder.
9. Ed Walsh - 1,026 points
Years with Sox: 1904-1916
Sox stats: 195-126, 1.82 ERA, 2,964.1 IP, 1,732 Ks
Big Ed spent his first two seasons as a part time starter and did well enough to earn a larger role in 1906. That year, Walsh began a stretch of 7 years where he was one of the best, if not the best, pitcher in baseball. Walsh won 17 games for the 1906 hitless wonders and compiled an ERA of 1.88 with 10 shutouts. In the World Series against the Cubs that season, he was 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA and a shutout in his two starts for the World Champion White Sox. In 1907, Walsh led the league in ERA (1.60) , starts (46) complete games (37) saves (4) and innings pitched (422.1). In 1908, Walsh won an amazing 40 games, the last player to ever accomplish that feat. He also led the league in starts (49), complete games (42), shutouts (11), saves (6) and innings (464) while posting a 1.42 ERA. In 1909, he only started 28 games, but still posted an ERA of 1.41 over 230.1 innings. In 1910, Walsh went 18-20, but had an incredible 1.27 ERA. In 1911 and 1912 the big right hander won 27 games. He threw 761.2 innings over that two year span and also led the league in saves each year. After 1912, Walsh wore down and never had a season where he reached 100 innings again. He pitched in limited duty for 4 more seasons before being released after 1916. He pitched 18 innings for the Red Sox in 1917 before calling it a career. Walsh retired with a career ERA of 1.82, which is still the best mark in Major League history. He's also 3rd on the White Sox list in wins, 3rd in innings pitched, 2nd in strikeouts and first in shutouts (57). Jim wrote this Cooperstown Library piece on Walsh earlier this offseason. You can also read his SABR bio here.
8. Billy Pierce - 1,030 points
Years with Sox: 1949-1961
Sox stats: 186-152, 3.19 ERA, 2,931 IP, 1,796 Ks
Billy Pierce came to the Sox from the Tigers in November of 1948 in exchange for catcher Aaron Robinson. Pierce had pitched sparingly for the Tigers, but was given an opportunity to start for the White Sox at 22 years old. Billy was only listed at 5'10 160 lbs, but had a big fastball. Pierce went 19-31 over his first two seasons as he struggled with his control. In 1951, it all clicked for Billy. He won 15 games, while cutting down his walks and lowering his ERA to 3.03. The next year he was 15-12 and the ERA fell to 2.57. In '53 he won 18 games with a 2.72 ERA over 271.1 innings. In 1955, Pierce went 15-10 and led the league in ERA (1.97) and WHIP (1.09). From 1947-1962, Pierce was the only person who qualified with an ERA under 2.00. In 1956, Billy won 20 games and led the league with 21 complete games. He would lead the league in complete games the next two seasons as well while totaling 37 wins over that stretch. In 1959, Pierce had a down year at 14-15 with a 3.62 ERA for the AL Champions. In 1960, Billy was 14-7, but fell short of 200 innings. Billy went 10-9 in 1961 before being traded to the Giants with Don Larsen in exchange for Eddie Fischer, Bob Farley and Dom Zanni. Pierce is 4th in career White Sox wins, 4th in innings pitched, 1st in strikeouts, 5th in complete games and 3rd in shutouts. Pierce's #19 was retired in 1987. You can check out Billy's SABR bio here.
7. Minnie Minoso- 1,061 points
Years with Sox: 1951-1957, 1960-1961, 1964, 1976, 1980
Sox stats: .304/.397/.468, 135 HR, 808 RBI, 171 SB, 1,523 Hits
Minoso was acquired from the Indians on April 30th, 1951 in a three team trade that saw the Sox send the A's Gus Zernial. Minoso would make his debut the next day against the Yankees. It was the first time a man of color suited up for the White Sox. Minnie didn't waste much time in making an impact as he launched a homer in his first at bat. He hit .326/.422/.500 in his first season in the Majors with 34 doubles, 14 triples, 10 homers and 31 stolen bases. He was an All Star, finished 2nd in the ROY voting and 4th in the MVP voting. In 1953, Minoso hit .313 with 15 homers and 104 RBIs. Minnie had a great 1954. He hit .320/.411/.536 with 29 doubles, 18 triples, 19 homers and 116 RBIs. After three more spectacular seasons, including 1956 when Minoso passed 20 homers for the first time with 21, the Sox sent him to Cleveland for Al Smith and Early Wynn. Smith and Wynn turned out to be key figures for the '59 AL Champion White Sox. In December of '59 though, the Sox got Minoso back in exchange for Norm Cash, Johnny Romano and Bubba Phillips. On opening day 1960, Minoso smashed two home runs. The first was a grand slam int he 4th inning to give the Sox a 9-2 lead. After the A's tied the game in the 9th, Minoso led off the bottom of the inning with a walk off bomb. The Cuban Comet would finish the season with a .311/.374/.481 line with 20 homers and 105 knocked in. 1961 was the last time Minoso would get everyday playing time. He hit .280/.369/.420 with 14 homers and 82 RBIs. That offseason he was sent to the Cardinals for Joe Cunningham. Minoso returned to the Sox in 1964 and went 7-31 with a homer. He would also return to the club in 1976 and 1980 and went 1-10 in those at bats. Jim wrote a two part series on Minoso earlier this year. Check it out here and here. His sabr bio is available here. Minoso ranks 5th in White Sox career OBP, 9th in OPS, 6th in runs, 9th in hits, 7th in total bases, 7th in doubles, 6th in triples, 5th in RBI. Hopefully one day Minnie will have his day in Cooperstown.
6. Shoeless Joe Jackson - 1,084 points
Years with Sox: 1915-1920
Sox stats: .340/.407/.499, 30 HR, 426 RBI
Like Eddie Collins, Shoeless Joe was a star before he came to the White Sox. Jackson was acquired from the Indians in August of 1915 for Ed Klepfer, Braggo Roth, Larry Chappell and $31,500 in cash. He struggled (for him) during the 45 games he played in Chicago in 1915, hitting .272/.378/.399. In 1916 though, Jackson hit .341/.393/.495 with 40 doubles, 21 triples, 78 RBI and 24 SBs as the Sox finished in 2nd behind the eventual champion Red Sox. In 1917 it was the Sox turn to win the ring. Shoeless hit .301/.375/.429 with 20 doubles and 17 triples during the season. In 1918, Jackson, like many players left the team due to WW1. Jackson took a job building battleships in Maryland instead of joining a branch of the armed services. In 1919, Jackson was back on the Sox and had a fine season in which he batted .351/.422/.506 with 96 RBIs for the AL Champion White Sox. The Sox lost the World Series to the Reds that year despite a .956 OPS from Jackson during the series. In 1920, Jackson had his finest season in a Sox uniform when he hit .382/.444/.589 with 42 doubles, 20 triples, 12 homers and 121 RBIs. Unfortunately, that would be Jackson's last season in the Majors as he was suspended for life for throwing the previous seasons World Series. Jackson has the highest batting average in White Sox history, the 3rd best OBP, the 8th best Slugging Percentage and the 6th most triples. Here is a link to an interview from 1949 Sport Magazine that E-Gus shared earlier this year.
5. Mark Buehrle - 1,162 points
Years with Sox: 2000-2011
Sox stats: 161-119, 3.83 ERA, 2,476.2 IP, 1,396 Ks
Buehrle came to the Sox in the 38th round of the 1998 draft. Within two years, he was pitching on the South Side for the eventual 2000 AL Central Champions as a 21 year old reliever. The next season, Buehrle would make his way to the rotation and would jump on the scene with 16 wins and a 3.29 ERA over 221.1 innings. Buehrle pitched 200+ innings for 10 more seasons after that, leading the league in 2004 (245.1) and 2005 (236.2). He also won double digit games every season he was in the Sox starting rotation. In 2005, Buehrle anchored the staff going 16-8 with a 3.12 ERA en route to a world championship, and was one of 4 consecutive complete game victories in the ALCS. Buehrle started 9 opening days in his White Sox tenure and it is going to sting on April 6th when someone other than Buehrle is toeing the rubber in Texas. Buehrle threw a no hitter in 2007 against the Rangers and a perfect game in 2009 against the Rays. You can watch the last inning of that gem from a fans perspective here. Buehrle was a 4 time all star, a 3 time gold glover and ranks 6th in club wins, 7th in innings pitched, 4th in strikeouts and 4th in starts. A few of the players in this top 20 have made return trips to Chicago. Maybe I'll have to edit this in the future.
4. Luis Aparicio - 1,341 points
Years with Sox: 1956-1962, 1968-1970
Sox stats: .269/.319/.348, 43 HR, 464 RBI, 318 SB, 7 Gold Gloves, 1956 ROY
In 1954, the Sox all star shortstop Chico Carrasquel told GM Frank Lane about a young player in Venezuela named Luis Aparicio. Lane signed Luis and after a year in Memphis, Aparicio took over the shortstop position from Carrasquel who was traded to the Indians. Aparicio didn't disappoint as he hit .266 with a league leading 21 stolen bases as he secured the 1956 AL ROY award. Leading the league in stolen bases was something that Aparicio did often as he did it the first 9 years of his career. Aparicio played in his first All Star game and won his first gold glove in 1958. In 1959, Little Louie was a main contributor to the AL pennant winning Sox as he his speed and defense combination were second to none. He stole 56 bases that year, won the gold glove and was voted 2nd in the MVP voting, finishing behind his teammate Nellie Fox. In 1960, Aparicio hit .277 with 51 stolen bases in another gold glove campaign. After he hit .241 in 1962, the Sox traded Aparicio and Al Smith to Baltimore and received Ron Hansen, Dave Nicholson, Pete Ward and Hoyt Wilhelm. Aparicio would go on to play 5 seasons in Baltimore, winning a World Championship along the way. Like Minoso though, Aparicio would find his way back to Comiskey Park. In November of 1967, Aparicio was traded back to the Sox for Don Buford, Bruce Howard and Roger Nelson. Aparicio played three more seasons for the Sox, winning two gold gloves and hitting a career high .313 in 1970 before being traded after the season to the Red Sox for Luis Alvarado and Mike Andrews. After three seasons in Boston, Aparacio retired at 40 years old. He was elected to the Hall of Fame and had his White Sox #11 retired in 1984. He ranks 7th in White Sox career runs, 8th in hits and 2nd in stolen bases. You can read his sabr bio here.
3. Nellie Fox - 1,519 points
Years with Sox: 1950-1963
Sox stats: .291/.349/.367, 35 HR, 740 RBI, 2,470 hits, 1959 AL MVP
Nellie began his playing career for the Philadelphia Athletics as he received a cup of coffee in 1947 and 48. In 1949, Fox got into 88 games but only hit .255 and was put on the trading block following the season. In October of 1949, the Sox sent Joe Tipton to the A's for Fox. Unfortunately for Fox, the White Sox had the reigning all star 2nd baseman in Cass Michaels. In May though, Michaels was dealt to the Senators for Eddie Robinson and Al Kozar. Kozar was to take over 2nd base, but got injured after 10 White Sox at bats, which gave Fox the job. Thats where he stayed for the next 14 seasons. He hit .247 in 1950, but in 1951 Fox hit .313 and was named to his first of twelve all star teams. From 1951-1960, Fox never slipped below a .285 average. He finished in the top 10 of MVP voting 6 times, including the one he won in 1959 when he hit .306/.380/.389. Fox led the league in hits 4 times. He led the league in plate appearances five times ('56-60), yet he never struck out more than 18 times in any season. He also was a 3 time gold glove winner. In December of 1963, Fox was sent to the Houston Colt .45's for Danny Murphy and Jim Golden. As a member of the .45's, Fox tutored future Hall of Fame 2nd baseman Joe Morgan. After a lengthy battle, Fox finally entered the Hall of Fame in 1997. Unfortunately, he had passed away 22 years prior. Fox's #2 was retired by the White Sox in 1976. He is 2nd all time in White Sox plate appearances, 2nd in at bats, 3rd in runs scored, 2nd in hits, 1st in triples, 4th in doubles, 4th in total bases and 9th in RBIs. Here is Nellie Fox's sabr bio.
2. Luke Appling - 1,660 points
Years with Sox: 1930-1950
Sox stats: .310/.399/.398, 45 HR, 1,116 RBI, 2,749 hits, 1,302 walks, 179 SB
Luke Appling started his White Sox career in 1930 after his contract was purchased from the Atlanta Crackers of the Southern League. Appling became the Sox regular shortstop in 1932 and in 1933 he hit .322/.379/.443. That season started a streak of 9 straight seasons (and 15 out of 16) of batting at least .300. Appling topped out at .388/.474/.508 in 1936 when he led the league in hitting. He also knocked in 128 runs that year as he finished 2nd in the MVP voting to Lou Gehrig. After a down year in 1942 in which Appling hit .262, he rebounded nicely to win the batting title again in 1943 when he hit .328/.419/.407. He finished second in the MVP voting that year to Yankees pitcher Spud Chandler. After missing the 1944 (and most of 1945) season due to Military Service, Appling came back at age 39 in 1946 and hit .309. He hit .314 and .301 in '48 and '49 before moving to a utility role in 1950 as Chico Carrasquel took over the everyday shortstop duties. Old Aches and Pains entered the Hall of Fame in 1964 and had his #4 retired by the White Sox in 1975. He is 8th all time in White Sox batting average, 4th in OBP, 1st in at bats, 2nd in runs, 1st in hits, 2nd in total bases, 2nd in doubles, 3rd in triples, 3rd in RBIs, 2nd in walks and 8th in stolen bases. You can view Appling's bio here and Jim's story from the Hall of Fame Library here.
1. Frank Thomas - 2,243 points
Years on Sox: 1990-2005
Sox stats: .307/.427/.568, 448 HR, 1,465 RBI, 2,136 hits, 1993 and 1994 AL MVP
Were you expecting someone else? Frank Thomas came to the Sox in the first round of the 1989 draft. By the summer of 1990, Frank was in Chicago terrorizing pitchers at Old Comiskey. He hit .330 in 191 at bats that year, including the last White Sox home run ever hit at the Baseball Palace of the World. In 1991, Frank began a stretch of 7 seasons where he hit at least .300 with at least 20 homers, 100 RBIs, 100 Runs and 100 walks. He OPS'd over 1.000 in 6 of those 7 seasons. Frank's first MVP season was in 1993 when he led the White Sox to the playoffs for the first time in 10 years with a line of .317/.426/.607, 41 homers and 128 RBIs. He followed that up with another MVP campaign in '94 where he hit .353/.487/.729 with 38 homers and 101 RBI's in the strike shortened season. In 1997, he claimed the batting title when he hit .347. After two down years by Frank's standards in '98 and '99, the Big Hurt came back with a vengeance in 2000 when he hit .328/.436/.625 with 43 homers and 143 RBI's as he led the surprising Sox to the AL Central title. After an injury took his 2001 season, Frank came back with 28 homers and 92 RBI's in 2002 and 42 homers and 105 RBIs in 2003. That was the last time Frank would play a full season on the South Side, as he only appeared in 108 games over the next two seasons. He hit 12 homers in only 105 at bats for the 2005 World Champions and did receive his ring. Frank will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2014. If he doesn't make it, I say we riot. Frank is the club leader in OBP, Slugging, Runs, Total Bases, Doubles, Homers, RBIs and walks. His #35 was retired in 2010. Here you can see a fanpost I wrote about him in 2010 and here is a video retrospective of his career.